Personalization: The Goal of the Past, the Promise of the Future

Raj De Datta
Raj De Datta

In the last 18 months, I think what we’ve learned is that there is no difference between real life and digital life. After all, how much of our day do we all spend in digital environments in one way or another, even if we’re physically out and about?

When I started Bloomreach over 10 years ago, it was with the belief that we were all going to be living our lives digitally for the most part. And if that’s true, the corollary is that the quality of every digital interaction that we have has to be as good or better than the quality of every physical interaction that we have. 

Yet, much of the last 20 years of the internet have been about making things easier. About making things frictionless. And that’s great, but that isn’t all we’re looking for in our lives. Incredible, beautiful, exciting, magical, memorable — wouldn’t it be something if these were the types of experiences our digital interactions, now an integral part of our everyday lives, were delivering? 

Creating Personalization That Feels Magical

For many years, digital commerce was simply about standing up a store. Today, it’s about standing out. At Bloomreach, we want to help brands and retailers around the world do just that. 

We want every digital experience our customers offer to feel catered specifically to you as a consumer. The equivalent would be if you were to walk into a physical store, and the shelves suddenly rearranged themselves to display exactly what you were looking for, exactly what might complement your preferences, and exactly the types of items you might be looking for in the future. An experience so personalized, it felt like magic. 

In the past, ecommerce personalization at this scale was something businesses could only dream about. Or worse, it was something that they were falsely promised by a solution that ultimately did little more than add a field for customers’ names to an email template. 

But that wasn’t true personalization. It wasn’t powered by a complete understanding of the customer. To drive impactful personalization at scale, you need not only the customer data, but also the product data. Not just who they are, but also what they’re seeking. It’s that comprehensive picture that allows you to interact with the customer in a way that resonates and create a digital experience that delivers joy. 

The Impact of Personalization

Delivering a deeper level of personalization matters more than ever, according to a recent McKinsey & Company report — especially with COVID-19 and the surge in digital behaviors raising the bar. The report found that three-quarters of consumers switched to a new store, product, or buying method during the pandemic. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.

That frustration can impact the bottom line. As a consumer, you can imagine all the times you’ve abandoned a shopping experience because it just wasn’t delivering what you needed. The inverse is true too. When an experience is truly incredible, you’re compelled to return to a brand again and again. Personalization is the key to building that type of customer loyalty. 

We’re already seeing how our Bloomreach customers have embarked on this path. They’re asking themselves the most important question as it relates to digital commerce — “what makes a truly memorable customer journey?” —  and they are seeing just how profound of an answer “personalization” is to that question. 

Making True Personalization a Reality

Helping them achieve that personalization is now serving as our guiding principle at Bloomreach, and we have continued to enhance our offerings this year in response, adding advanced new features and functionalities, as well as a customer data platform and marketing automation solutions with our acquisition of Exponea earlier in the year. All of which will enable the brands we work with to offer the most incredible, personalized customer journeys possible.

Here at Bloomreach, we understand businesses’ need to drive digital commerce forward, and to do it fast. Customers won’t sit around and wait for a business’s commerce experience to catch up to their expectations — they’ll simply move on. And so it’s critical for us all to be thinking ahead, to anticipate what our customers need before they need it, and to deliver it in an incredible, seamless, personalized, magical way that truly brings joy back into the online experience. 

In the past, that was simply a goal many dreamed of achieving. But today, and in the new year to come, personalization is the promise all businesses can finally deliver on. Ultimately, this will lead to greater revenue for businesses and — above all — happier, more engaged customers.


Raj De Datta


Bloomreach CEO and co-founder

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